The House of Representatives is mulling over a plan that would give “vouchers” to new car buyers who purchase fuel efficient cars. Evidently vouchers are bad when it comes to education and good when it comes to automobiles. Typical liberal non-think. Choice is good if you think and act the way that they want you to; otherwise, they have to find a way to coerce you.
Here’s the basics of the plan:
Under the House bill, car owners could get a voucher worth $3,500 if they traded in a vehicle getting 18 miles per gallon or less for one getting at least 22 miles per gallon. The value of the voucher would grow to $4,500 if the mileage of the new car is 10 mpg higher than the old vehicle. The miles per gallon figures are listed on the window sticker.
Owners of sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks or minivans that get 18 mpg or less could receive a voucher for $3,500 if their new truck or SUV is at least 2 mpg higher than their old vehicle. The voucher would increase to $4,500 if the mileage of the new truck or SUV is at least 5 mpg higher than the older vehicle. Consumers could also receive vouchers for leased vehicles.
No word on whether the plan would be restricted to automobiles manufactured by effectively state-owned domestic car makers. Given the inherent conflict of interest for lawmakers who are also overseeing the effective nationalization of two insolvent auto manufacturers, it’s important to consider the effect of policy on competition in what remains of the market.
Neither was there any indication that a sustainable solution to bridging the gulf between buyers’ interests and what the left wing of our society thinks they should drive will be forthcoming. Innovation and competition are the only reliable way to make that happen; neither are the forte of government-owned and operated businesses. The fact that Democrats are thinking about bribing the public into buying small cars demonstrates that no market solution is in the offing, at least from GM or Chrysler.